By Sophia Saifi
12 Aug 2013
Barb Jungr: Stockport to Memphis
British singer and lyricist Barb Jungr took the audience on a musical journey from her youth in the northwestern English town of Stockport to her imagined entry to the city of Memphis.
Based off Jungr's latest album, the show was a biographical account through songs of her endearing experiences.
According to Jungr, she wanted to work on an album that was "more based in blues and jazz."
Influenced by growing up in the heyday of northern soul, Jungr brought a distinctively salty edge to her act at the O'Neill.
Accompanied on the piano by Tracy Stark, Jungr's set featured a series of songs that were at once charming and gritty while simultaneously terrifying and tantalizing.
From a rousing version of Joni Mitchell's "River" to "Last Orders: Mersey Square," her own bittersweet ode to youth, Jungr had the audience gasping, sighing and absolutely titillated by her delicious delivery. Perched on a footstool she ripped melodies out of a variety of harmonicas and shared her stories of heartbreak, family and love.
Having performed in places as diverse as Cameroon, Yemen and the Cote D'Ivoire, Jungr said she was "thrilled" to be at the O'Neill and that she would jump, "like a wild animal to food," at any opportunity to return.
She said that of the main reasons for coming was because it was John McDaniel's first season as artistic director.
McDaniel himself is a fan of Jungr's work.
"She is one of a kind," he said. "she is very off the cuff. I really think she is amazing."